This past weekend at the Great Escape has to go down as one of the best ever in the world of Howling Owl. I could spout verbal diarrhoea about the festivities but…actually no I couldn’t because I feel like a husk and I only have a five minute coffee break…so straight to the news!
We have a kind of new release out. I have a written an ‘open letter’ below to explain what’s going on, but this is our first ‘digital only’ release, but probably our last.
Howling Owl Records is, and always will be, a label that puts physical releases ahead of anything. We lose money on most of the records we put out, but we don’t care because we are proud of them and are happy for the world to hear what needs to be heard. Naturally, this is not the best way of becoming a sustainable ‘proper’ label; something that we never envisioned happening but would actually really rather like to happen.
Believe Digital got in touch with us a few months ago with hope of them taking on the role of becoming a digital distributor for Howling Owl. This left us in a strange position as we have never really had anything to do with the digital world, one reason being that we literally have no time to manage such things…which is where Believe will come in.
The way the music industry is now, and has been since we began, we would be naive to think that we can share Howling Owl’s music with as many people as possible without being able to offer a digital alternative to our releases; for those who don’t own record players/tape decks etc (god forbid!). We would never want to feel like we are holding our bands back, so we can now have them up on itunes/amazon/etcetc and have a much more digital presence thanks to Believe.
Pellets and Droppings will be our first ‘release’ with Believe on board, and is basically a way of offering new Howling Owl fans a chance to get a taste of what they’ve been missing out on. Not so much of a best of as a snapshot of what excellence we have been putting out for the past year or two; albeit without the tangible artwork!
This may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but the two of us, but we thought it was important just to let you know what was happening.
We are not going digital, digital is going Howling Owl.
A few months ago we received an email from Mr Great Escape Festival, saying that he was a fan of Howling Owl. He had been to the first Old Blue Last gig we put on and had thoroughly enjoyed it. “I dream of having that line up at my festival one day” he posed. We, of course, thought this was some kind of hilarious prank.
Fast forward a few months, and here we are, hosting our own night at the Great Escape. It certainly is surreal, and we certainly can’t bloody wait.
We will be spreading our gospel of noise all over Brighton, culminating in a Friday night takeover or Above Audio. It is an honour to be asked to do this so thank you Mr Great Escape, we will not let you down.
In other news, last weeks Record Store Day vinyl is ALL GONE. We sold 100 records in about 14 hours. Jesus. Thanks to everyone who purchased!
This year sees us release Music Is Dead Vol.1, with four bands completely contradicting that statement. Side A features the first anyone has heard from The Naturals in over a year; Its Teeth is a monster of a return and shows just why we think that they are genuinely the most exciting band on the planet right now. Spectres follow with another brand new song; a demo recorded shortly after the sessions that spawned ‘Hunger’, the critically acclaimed sell out EP (drownedinsound.com/releases/17520/reviews/4146139). Where Youth? shows that as well as loud, they can tone it down and write something verging on radio friendly..but not for long.
Oliver Wilde stokes the excitement for his upcoming album release (July) with Home, a song that further cements his growing status as a master songwriter who cleverly shrouds his widescreen appeal in lo-fi sparkle. Velcro Hooks finish things off with the original,unheard version of Yesterday’s Man; a much rawer cut than the one found on their sell out EP Gymnophoria.
Housed, as always, in lovingly hand assembled packaging and bespoke artwork; this is another release that emphasises just how strong the Howling Owl family is becoming.